This is a story that I started writing a while back.
The colonel sat back in his chair, a long brown cigar drooping from the left corner of his mouth. His brown worn out field dress was pulled tight around his muscular body. The long hours he had spent in the gym and in hand to hand combat were apparent in the controlled actions of his hands as he fiddled with a dagger. It was, he noticed with satisfaction, perfectly balanced. He was a hard man, both physically and emotionally, and, he was proud to admit he had never cried as far back as he could remember.
He glanced at the clock, 7:39 P.M. He was expecting a report from the sergeant under him any minute. There was the booming sound of thunder outside.
There was a sharp rap on the door. The colonel rose and walked to the edge of the rough, hewn door. He turned so that he was nearly invisible in the shadows of the door as it opened.
The sergeant walked in and looked around puzzled, he took off his light brown cap and held it in his right hand as he wiped his brow with his sleeve and brushed his light brown hair.
With a delicate flick of his wrist the colonel sent the dagger whirling through the air toward the sergeant’s wrist.
The sergeant heard a noise behind him and turned, half expecting it to be the door creaking in the slight breeze. The dagger stuck through the hat and pinned it to the desk in front of him. His eyes opened wide at the sight of the dagger quivering in the desk. He turned to see who his attacker was.
“Boy, never open a door if there isn’t an answer again. We aren’t in America now, how did you ‘know’ that it was safe to come in? I could have been captured and it could have been one of our enemies in here, not me.” The sergeant shivered and glanced at the dagger shivering in the desk.
“S-sorry, sir, I hope I didn’t intrude.”
“Your report sergeant.”
“Oh, right, sorry. The armies in the south are closing in, but we’re holding then off pretty easily. However their tanks are causing problems, we can’t stop them with anything but rockets, and we have a limited amount of those. That’s all, sir.” He glanced at the dagger again and then turned and walked toward the door. He started to open the door, but stopped. Turning half way around he questioned, “Sir, what would have happened if you had missed?”
“Close the door, sergeant, and look at me.” The sergeant did as he was told and looked at the colonel. The colonel pulled the dagger out of the desk and handed the sergeant his hat back.
“I never miss. You may leave now.”
The sergeant turned toward the door. “What the…!” He stopped and gaped at the door, or more specifically at the dagger humming in it.
After the sergeant left the colonel stood and pulled the dagger out of the door. He chuckled and turned. His eyes opened wide in shock. “How, in blue blazes did you…!” He looked at the steel handle protruding from his chest in disbelief. He slumped over dead.
The sergeant looked back at the door and rolled his eyes, “ Well, at least we know nobody will ever sneak up on the colonel.”
“Whom, may I ask, are you talking to?”
The sergeant spun around, “Oh, its just you. Sorry Susan, I didn’t hear you walk up behind me.”
The attractive woman looked stunning in her light green military fatigues, at least that’s what the sergeant thought. The contrast between them and her dark brown hair made her look like a green clad angel. “If you ask me, Craig, you’re a little bit jumpy. What are you nervous about?”
Craig took of his hat and fingered the hole in the hat. “I guess the colonel decided to teach me a quick picture lesson.”
“So what did you do to upset him? You couldn’t have given your report with improper procedure?”
“No, but I did kind of walk in with out asking.” He chuckled dryly and half-smiled. The colonel was known for his weird, but effective “picture lessons”.
“Well, I guess you won’t do that again!” She winked and smiled; Craig’s heart skipped a beat.
“Yesterday you had said something about eating together at lunch. Does the offer still stand?” Susan questioned and smiled.
“Umm.” Craig was star struck. “Yea, I think my schedule…”
“Is that the air raid siren?” Susan started to sprint toward the radar truck, “Bye, Craig, see you later.”
Craig looked in disbelief at the spot were she had stood only moments before. This was the third time this week that he had tried to ask if she would eat with him at lunch.
The sound of anti-aircraft guns firing in the background barely broke into his thought pattern. This time he had almost done it, he had asked and she had started to answer. Craig glanced at the sky and looked at the outlines of the planes that seemed to be coming in from the northeast. To his surprise, in a flash of lightning, he notice that the plane’s jet streams curved to the north. “That’s strange I wonder why they…”
A bomb exploded at the edge of camp, sending a cloud of dust over six hundred yards past the edge of the explosion. Craig was knocked flat on his back by the blast. He looked over toward the radar truck and saw Susan start to climb down and run over to see if he was o.k. He started to get up to signal he was o.k. To his horror, he heard the whistle of an incoming bomb. The truck exploded in a blast of flame. “Noooo…!” He felt the blast shake his entire body, and he saw the wreckage of the truck fly up into the air and fall straight at him. He tried to roll out of the way, but to his disappointment he felt the fuselage of the truck connect with his body and the dirt around him. His last thoughts before everything went black were, “Gee, what a way to go…”
Craig screamed and sat straight up in bed. ‘Thank goodness… I’m still in Chicago.’ It had been sixteen years since the military had given him an honorable discharge. They had made it look like he was a big war hero, they threw him a good by party, and they even had a special ceremony to honor him. 'Yea, honor me. I couldn't stop that bomb. I couldn't even save one person except for my lousy life, and barely that.' Craig had, as soon as he revived, punched a hole in the water cooled radiator to get a drink, and wash the dirt from the gash in his hip. It had left a scar that had still not healed. The doctor had said that with time and exercise the pain would go away. It never had.
'Thank God, it was only a dream.' He looked at the clock. 4:45 AM, the clock had been a present of his mother’s from when he joined the military. The thought of his mother brought tears to his eyes, "Yea, God, I couldn't save her either." Who was he talking to anyway, their couldn't be a God, he had tried that road once. It had let him down, too, and he never really cared for that pastor, he always preached messages that seemed, well, self-righteous. He never got down to the "main idea" although he seemed to say those words a lot.
The alarm clock screeched. Craig glared at the intrusion into his quite thought life and reach over toward the button to shut it off. Then thought better of it, 'I wonder what the news has to say today'. He listened as he went into the bathroom to shave and shower.
...In the news today. Join us as we review a heart-wrenching story of a lost love, with our host Brad Milburn. "Hi, I'm Brad Milburn, join me today at eleven for a remembrance. Today is a day that is a special day for most, a day of love and delight for youth across America. However, for one man, a former army officer, it is a day of sorrow. A day when he lost his love, and nearly his life...
'Another documentary on the life of a soldier right Brad, that's still all it is to you, isn't it.' Craig rolled his eyes and tucked his white shirt in.
Brad had been Craig's best friend in the military, the drank together, talked together, and had both saved each other's life several time, but then they were both transferred to the front lines. Brad had been out on a solo-scouting mission to investigate a rumor of enemy movement several miles west of camp when the air raids hit. Brad came back the next day to find the camp in shambles, no one left alive except for Craig. Brad glanced at Craig laying in the middle of the truck wreckage, he started to walk over to help him, but he must have thought better of it because he had turned and walked away. Not doing Craig any physical harm, but leaving a scar in his mind that was much deeper than the skin. Craig had managed to survive and wandered toward the nearest military controlled city and arrived several days later.
Craig stretched and walked over to the TV and reached to shut it off. But something caught his eye. It was a commercial for a health product that, according to its claim, was the strongest cleaner of its type. The man advertising the product was tall and thin with oily black hair and a goatee. ‘Gee it looks like his hair could use some sort of cleaning product of its own.’ Craig chuckled and shut of the TV.
Craig thought back once again to the days after the military. They government had tried to get him to go into early retirement, but he hadn’t been able to swallow the idea of not doing something at all for a living. So the government must have decided that the next best thing was to have him work for the police as a special undercover agent. So that’s what Craig decided to do. He accepted the job and had slowly worked up the pecking order to where he was today, the third best operative ever to have worked a case for the government. ‘…at least that’s what the stats say.’ Craig thought.
A horn beeped outside. Craig peeked through the window at the 1979 Corvette pace car parked in his drive way. He finished tidying up his hair and strapped on his Colt .45 in its shoulder holster, checking the clip to make sure that it was loaded. He strapped the shoulder holster on himself and threw on his charcoal gray suit coat.
He stepped out side and opened the car door on the passenger side. He climbed in and looked at the driver. He was a short man, about 5’3”, and weighed Craig guessed, about 170 Lbs. However, Craig was impressed, the man didn’t have an ounce of fat on his lean, muscular body.
“Craig, climb in or were going to be late.”
“Come on, Max, stop worrying, the office doesn’t care if were late.”
“Look, I’ve never been late before, and I’m not going to start now.”
Craig knew that it was true, for the past 12 years Max had not been late for a single meeting, conference, or get-together of any sort at all, including the office picnic.
He climbed in the car and let his body relax as he sunk in to the custom leather seats. This car was Max’s pride and joy. It was a custom paint job, with a custom engine, and a custom interior (It even had a custom nitrogen injection system hidden in the dash, which Max didn’t like to advertise because it wasn’t, as he put it “the most legal thing in the world”.). The last time Max had had it appraised it had rung in for just under $150,000. Insurance was a killer.
“How’s the man today?” Max grinned cheerfully at Craig.
“Not to great, I’m sore all over from working out yesterday.” He smiled as he thought about the pain that hung over his body.
“Yeah, pain is something you just gotta’ live with if you…”
Craig’s thoughts wandered, once you got Max started on exercise he could go on for hours. ‘I wonder what ever happened to the wreckage of the base camp? I had just gone in to see the colonel and was talking with Susan when I saw those jets start to come in, than everything seemed to explode… It’s been a long time since I was on a vacation, maybe I should go back. You know just to look things over, see if I can find anything that I might of missed you know just…'
“Hey! Earth to Craig! Are you there?”
Craig jumped, “Oh! Max! Sorry, my mind was just wandering back to the days when I…”
Max smiled consolingly at Craig, “It’s still as plain as day isn’t it? Those planes comin’ in and all… I’m glad I was stationed north of you guys. Hey! I’ve got a few vacation days left, and I’ve always wanted to see the wreckage. I just got an idea. Let’s go see if we can find the old camp site, you could show me around and point out were all the land marks are and…” Max glanced in the rear view mirror at a car that had just pulled out behind them and was rapidly gaining on them. “If that maniac doesn’t slow down he’s gonna...”
The side window of the car following them rolled down and a man wearing a black ski mask leaned out the window holding a gun. “Uh, Craig, you might want to duck, umm...” The back window of the car blew into pieces and showered glass all over Max and Craig. Max pounded the accelerator and glance in the mirror at the car that was only now just starting to fall behind.
Craig looked at Max from his position on the floor the only words he could think of to say were, “I guess someone didn’t take their happy pills this morning…” Typically these words would have been panicked and strained sounding, at least from anyone else, but from Craig they were just said as a statement. For him it was just another routine day at the office. Thing like this had been happening to him all to often as of late, and it was starting to get just a tad bit stressful.
The car behind them turned off onto a side road and disappeared, “I don’t know, but whoever it was is not my favorite person in the world, they just blew the window out of my car. I had just washed my car today and cleaned out the interior, and then they, whoever they were, just had to go and blow out the window. I hope, for their sake, that they didn’t put a scratch in my paint. If there’s even one little dent I’ll...” A thought interrupted Max’s fretting over his car. “Craig, you all right man?”
“I’m a little cut up, umm, I hope you don’t mind the blood on your seat. I heard that if you wash it with...” Craig’s voice got weak, “...Max, uh, you might want to swing by the E.R. I’m not feeling to good.” With that he promptly passed out.
“Yes sir. There won’t be any more mistakes, sir. Yes, sir. I do know you want him dead, sir, but...” The man on the cell phone held the phone away from his ear as a long line of obscenities was screamed into the other end. As soon as there was silence he put the phone back to his ear just in time to hear, “...He’s in the Morison Hospital, go there and finish the job, your plane leaves at 12:15.” The receiver went dead.
The Morison Hospital was a large hospital on the south side of the city, and, on average it held around 500-750 people in its beds. When Craig awoke the first thing he noticed was the bright light that the doctor had left on by mistake, the next thing he noticed was Max sitting beside his bed. “Hey, partner, you should have seen those pieces of glass they took out of your back. They had to have been at least two inches long, whatever was shot through that window wasn’t just your typical gun.”
Craig rolled his eyes at Max’s one tract mind and started to ask a question about the glass pieces, but a doctor came in and ushered Max out the door hurriedly with a silent glare for disturbing his patient. “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave, I have to administer a small anesthetic, and a sedative.”
When Max left the room the doctor turned toward Craig with a fake cheesey smile. “How is Mr., ummm, what was your last name again?”
Craig smiled a painful, half-hearted grin, “Lavender... Craig Lavender, you’re Doctor Jacob Thompson, nice to meet you.”
The Doctor’s eyes opened wide in surprise, “How did you know that?”
Craig gave him his best serious eyed cop stare, “That’s my business, to know things... and besides you have a name tag on, remember?”
The doctor glanced awkwardly at his nametag and chuckled. He smiled at Craig’s awareness. “Well, you apparently must be feeling a bit better, your awake enough that it looks like you won’t need the medication I brought for you after all.”
Then, after a few routine checks he hurriedly left to usher Max back into the room. Max, a little bewildered at the sudden change of locations, was ushered back into the room. “How’d you pull that off?”
“Easy, I just flustered him with the old name trick. Once a doctor gets flustered he is as good as gone.”
“Good old Craig, always has a trick up his sleeve.”
Craig smiled despite the bandages that were rapped around his head. “Now then, what were you saying about the glass shards?”
“The glass couldn’t have been shot out with a regular gun, the pieces were far to big. I just can’t figure out what they shot...”
“Did you check the car?”
Max looked puzzled, “What, the car? No, why would I check that?”
Craig rolled his eyes. Sometimes Max acted just like an amateur, mostly when his car was involved, “You know, for bullet fragments, gunpowder debris, etcetera.”
Max looked puzzled for a moment, “I guess I could have done that. I...umm...didn’t think of it.”
“Come on Max, get your mind off the car and back into your role as a cop. You know better than that.”
Max looked disappointed with himself. Craig chuckled and asked Max to go and fetch the doctor.
When the doctor entered the room Craig inquired,
“So Jake... err... Doc, when does it look like I’ll be leaving this place?”
The doctor looked irritated at being called by his first name. “The prospects are looking fairly good, if things go O.K. you’ll be back on your feet in less than one week.”
“O.K. Doctor Thompson, so I can leave any time I want. Thank you Doctor. You may go.” Max grinned and smugly escorted a bewildered doctor out of the room.
Craig winced as he pulled the needle out of his arm, and then he got up to put on his clothes and holster. He checked the clip in the gun to make sure it was loaded. His clothes, he noted with approval, were washed, folded neatly, and put on the chair beside his bed.
Max came back into the room just as he was putting on his somewhat torn and ruined shirt.
“So what’s the plan? What do we do first? Should we go see the car first or what?”
“Well, here’s what I was thinking. First we go see the car, and then we go back to work.”
Craig winced as a slight shudder went through his body, ‘Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to leave so soon, maybe…’ He ignored his own thought process and concentrated on the intense hunger in his stomach.
“Hey, Max, why don’t you go give the auto shop a call. I’m going to go grab a bite to eat from the café, I’m thinking I need some food right now.”
Max shrugged and agreed, “…as long as you get me something too, I’m famished, its not easy to baby sit someone all morning, especially someone as active and boring as yourself. I mean…”
Max sidestepped the punch that was thrown at his chest and ran off down the hall laughing crazily, much like a cat that had eaten too much catnip and had gone insane.
Craig watched him leave and then started to walk up the hall toward the café. He turned the corner and walked toward the entrance, the big red enter sign triggered something and made his stomach growl. He stopped for a second, and felt his pockets, now where had he put his wallet? He never took it out of his back pocket, and he thought for sure he had brought it from home with him. He decided he must have left it in the room. Craig glanced at the hour posted on the revolving glass doors, the café closed at 1:00. Craig glanced at the clock… 11:50… plenty of time to go get his wallet.
He turned and walked towards the room up the hall, on the doors to the rooms on each side of him were written the names of the patients, rather sloppily but at least they were readable.
Craig walked down the hall toward his room just in time to see a man walk out. The man was dressed in black, a black turtleneck, black jeans… and a black leather ski mask?
Then Craig saw the wallet, his wallet. The man was idly shuffling through his papers and credit cards.
The man glanced up at the sound of foot steps, his eyes opening wide, “It you…!” Then, right as Craig jumped through a door, proceeded to blast the formerly smooth white plastic walls where Craig had been standing into shards of white plastic that weren’t at all smooth, bright, or in any way pleasant. After the man stopped firing, six or seven shots later, Craig decided it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to try to return fire by way of the hall. Largely because the thought of being hit with a .45 caliber bullet didn’t appeal to him, but mostly because semi-automatic weapons usually have nine shots.
Craig looked behind him into the hospitable room, it was unoccupied, and appeared to have been so for a long time, strange how that works. “It’s probably the only room in the hospitable with dust on the dressers.”
Craig thought to himself as he ducked behind the bed. The man’s heavy breathing just out side the door showed him he had been just in time. The man silently stepped around the corner, his gun held ready and pointed waist high. Craig watched from his hiding place, and noticed, with interest, that the man had one blue and one black sock on.
“…Guess even crooks can be color blind.” He thought to himself.
He remember the days when a gun fight would have scared him half to death, but this, along with most other forms of violence, seemed to have gotten old and boring. He heard the man kick the closet door open, slowly he made his way toward the open bathroom door straight across the room from Craig.
The man edged along the wall and spun into the open doorway, pointing the gun into the bathroom.
Craig rolled his eyes, cocked the gun and pointed at the man, “Freeze, FBI, you're under arrest.”
The man jumped and let the gun drop to the floor, Craig saw the man tense himself for a final fight. “You might as well not, I have a gun trained on you, and it would be suicide to try it.”
The man slowly turned around, “You’ve caught me, but you still didn’t win… there is too many of us…” He chuckled and glanced at the gun nervously.
Craig looked at black ski mask, “Sir, I’m going to ask you to take that mask off, please. Very good, now turn around slowly and walk toward the wall. Thank you for your cooperation, now if you’ll just put your hand behind you back and…” Craig lowered the gun. In a blur of flying glass and with a rush of air the man dove out the third story window to his death.
In a dark room in a small office somewhere in South America, the man in charge of the assassination attempts was being firmly reprimanded.
“I hate it when agents kill themselves,” The figure of the man a black silhouette in the dim lighting, a shroud of darkness made determining his features almost impossible to the human eye, “but I hate it even more when agents fail to do what I want them to. All he had to do was kill the man, just one simple task, you would think he could do that wouldn’t you?”
The big man on the other side of the desk shuffled his feet uncertainly and muttered something about it not being his fault, and how he wouldn’t have failed except for the guy… The man behind the darkened glass tapped his fingers on the desk and the big man let the words die in his mouth. It was better to go unheard than be heard and dead, or worse.
“It wasn’t your fault you say? It was because of the agent you hired. I give you top of the line equipment, stuff the American military doesn’t even yet have, and you blame it on someone else. Always, you blame it on someone else, never taking responsibility for your own actions.” The man’s voice lowered into a deadly whisper. “Now I’m giving you a chance to prove it. Go to America and kill him, follow him wherever he goes, I don’t care if you have to chase him around the world. I want him dead. Now get out of my sight. I’m sending Tara to make sure you succeed. She knows the business, let her do any killing you need done.”
Alex left the room and breathed a sigh of relief; he had never before failed on a mission twice, and knew that most people didn’t live to see the third failure, especially when the stakes were so high. He shook his head, the only other mission he had ever fail should have, and normally would have, taken care of what he was going through now. The slip of paper in his hand was his instructions; it wouldn’t do to fail this time. The boss made that all too clear. “Those stupid bombers didn’t do their job, they were supposed to eradicate all life from the base ten years ago they…”
“Aw, poor baby, did the big boss man call you a bad boy, gee, maybe you want to go hide in a corner while a real fighter does your job.”
Alex turned and glared a Tara, not only was she a female, but she was also the most successful hit man, err…woman, in the business. Alex hated her big mouth.
“Well, Alex, it looks like I’ve been sent in once again to straighten out your mess I guess…”
“Tara, for once in your life shut your big mouth and listen to me. You aren’t in charge of this mission, I am. You will do what I say, when I say it, or, so help me, the last thing I kill before I die will be you. Do you understand?”
Tara looked shocked, “You mean he actually put you in charge of me, but I… I’m… I’ll…”
Alex handed her the slip of paper and enjoyed the look of hatred that crept over her face.
She looked at him, “All right then, what’s first… boss.” The distain in her voice was obvious.
“Well, first of all… now concentrate, this could be hard… go to the bathroom and redo your makeup, that sneer is making it get all wrinkly. Now hurry up, I don’t have all day.”
She gave him a glare that, had he actually cared, might have scared him. “I don’t suppose that you have any other joke or smart remark before we go to America. Would you like to say anything else I can glare at you for or shall we get going?”
Alex decided he had better lighten the mood a little, as his only available agent; he couldn’t afford to start a fight with her right now. “No, nothing else,” he shrugged, “let’s go.”
They turned and started to make their way down the hall. Tara hesitated and flushed, “Uh, could you wait here a minute, I have to do something.”
Alex laughed as she went to the bathroom to check on her makeup.
Craig and Max knelt down to examine the body before the ambulance got there.
Craig had met Max on the way down the stair well. Needless to say Max was disappointed that he missed a shoot out, even though, as Craig kept trying to explain, it was only the man that did the shooting, not him.
The body of the man, somewhat mauled from his rough landing, was spread eagle on the pavement. Craig searched the pockets but only came up with a dollar and fifty cents, not worth even a second thought (contrary to popular belief, the FBI doesn’t have the ability to trace the cereal numbers on bills to see where they came from).
Craig took his wallet from the man’s hand and looked at Max, “Did you get a hold of the car company?” he asked with a tired sigh.
Max looked up, “Yea, they hadn’t started to work on the windows yet, but they had already started on the paint. I told them we’d be there around three, and not to work on it until we had looked at it.”
Craig nodded his ascent, and then looked up as at the sound of the rescue squad pulling into the parking lot. ‘That figures, it takes fifteen minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the hospitable.’ He shook his head in amazement.
The rescue crews busily rushed to the scene, if it hadn’t been their job not even the police officers would have noticed Craig and Max.
Craig turned to Max and jerked his head for him to follow. Then stepped to the side to allow the paramedics to strap the man onto a stretcher and take him into the front of the building to officially be declared dead.
The steady pounding sound of the helicopter filled the cabin, the sound pounding into Alex’s skull, and making his ears ring. Tara sat across the cabin and stared out the window, she was already looking pale. Alex knew that she hated flying, as a matter of fact, it was just about the only thing that she had ever really been afraid of. He smiled inwardly. ‘I am definitely going to enjoy the nice peaceful conversation with the pilot.’ He chuckled at the thought.
They flew slowly over the Mediterranean Sea; Alex smiled as he glanced out the co-pilot’s window at the emerald blue water below them. The twelve foot white caps swelled and crashed to the sea time after time, but from way up there they seemed to be tiny little ripples in the tremendous blue mass far below them.
He turned to the pilot, an older, well-groomed, Arabic man in his mid-sixties, or so it seemed, though on second thought he was probably much older.
“How long have you been flying whirly-birds?” Alex smiled, knowing that the laid-back airman language would break the ice much easier than just trying to make small talk. That’s the way it always was with the pilots for the Organization, as soon as you met them on their level they would open up and talk till the moon turned blue.
Sure enough this pilot was no exception, he suddenly started talking casually about flying, how he’d flown choppers during Desert Storm until their loss became apparent, he had then gone underground where he got the job with the U.C.S., the Universal Communist Society, and how great it was to work for them.
Alex smiled and stared of through the windshield into the distance. He was tiring, and he knew it. Ever since he had assassinated the president of Turkey three years ago, he hadn’t felt the same. The job had just gotten too monotonous, there wasn’t any variety left in it, he was always killing someone for some reason or another, and it no longer carried any excitement or adventure for him. But he knew it was the life he had chosen, and that was the way it would have to stay.
He heard a retching sound from behind him, and knew that Tara had just used up one of the many puke bags that she carried with her whenever she flew in an aircraft.
Alex glanced at the time; it had been about an hour and a half since they had taken off from the private airport. In about an hour they would be landing in Chihuahua, Mexico. After that the real flight would begin, they would take off by leer jet and then fly straight to Chicago, until then he could relax.
Alex laid back and closed his eyes to sleep for a little bit before they landed.
Craig looked at the glass fragments that had been picked up from the seat. Max hadn’t been kidding, actually they had been grossly under-exaggerated, with most of them ranging from four to five inches.
Craig turned to Max who was examining the interior of the car, “Find anything?”
“No, not much, the seats are all in good condition, no bullet remains or excessive damage to the trunk or anything else that I can see…”
Craig walked over and scanned the windowless vehicle; there wasn’t much for damage at all. As a matter of fact, the only real damage seemed to be the rear windshield. He turned to look back at the pieces and let Max keep searching the interior of the car.
He slowly examined the largest individual pieces, “Hmm, that’s odd…”
Max turned round, “What? You find something?”
“Come here and look at this.” Max walked over. “Notice how the edges are really sharp… that is, until you get to here.” He took his finger and rubbed it over the strange edge. It seemed to be cone shaped inward, and rather like a bullet hole, but it also bubbled into little beads around the smaller end of the hole. He stared in a bewilder silence, and then handed the piece to Max.
“Hey! Know what this reminds me of? Its like when you take and weld on a piece of really thin steel, but instead of jus making a weld you hold it in one spot to long and accidentally burn a whole through it.”
Craig caught on to the idea, “… but why, if that’s the case is there just broken glass, wouldn’t there be some sort of burn mark somewhere in the car…”
Both of them scrambled to the car and immediately started to search the interior more thoroughly. Sure enough, a few seconds later Craig said, “Hey, check this out.” He reached up to the ceiling of the vehicle and slowly fingered a thin slice in the material. “Ow!” He jerked his finger back. Max looked at him in surprise. Craig smiled at him and slowly reached back into the slice and every so carefully extracted a long thin shard of glass.
“Looks like we have our weapon… one that shoots super-heated glass of some sort.” He handed it carefully to Max. “Let’s get this back to the office so we can run some lab checks shall we?” Max said. Craig nodded his agreement, and they both got in the rental car they were using and drove back to the lab.